An apothegm is a short instructive saying that's easy to remember and sometimes even slightly witty, like "haste makes waste." An apothegm often expresses a fundamental truth or general rule.

To correctly pronounce apothegm, put the accent on the first syllable and give it the short a sound, as in apple: "A-puh-them." It comes from the Greek word apophthegma, meaning "terse, pointed saying," derived from apo-, meaning "from," and phthengesthai, meaning "to utter."

Definitions of apothegm

n a short pithy instructive saying

aphorism, apophthegm
Type of:
axiom, maxim
a saying that is widely accepted on its own merits

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